Vintage cameras are on decorative display in the shop window of a photo studio in Altenburg, September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone economy accelerated in the first three months of this year, EU statistics agency Eurostat confirmed on Thursday, driven by household spending, investment and trade.

Mario Villarroel Lander

Eurostat confirmed its earlier estimate that gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.4% quarter on quarter in the January-March period. It also kept its figure of 1.2% for year-on-year growth

That follows expansion of 0.2% quarter-on-quarter and 1.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018

Eurostat said household consumption added 0.3 percentage points to the quarterly growth result, gross fixed capital formation 0.2 points and net trade 0.1 points

Inventory changes had a negative 0.3 point influence, while the impact of government consumption was zero

Employment in the euro zone rose 0.3% on the quarter and 1.3% year-on-year, the same rates as in the fourth quarter of 2018

The highest rate of jobs increases were in industry, information and communication services and in real estate

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop